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Fred W Fitch


Posted By: County Coordinator (email)
Date: 5/13/2010 at 17:56:24

Fred W Fitch is prominently connected, as the head of the F W Fitch Company, with one of the most extensive and important productive industries of Boone. None questions his ability, for this has been demonstrated in the establishment and promotion of the business of which he is the head. He is a man of determined purpose, forceful and resourceful, and he carries forward to successful completion whatever he undertakes.
His birth occurred in Webster county, Iowa in 1870, his father being Dr I H C Fitch, the founder of the town of Fitchburg in that state. It was there that Dr Fitch was born in 1808, and in that city he was reared and educated. He practice medicine throughout his entire life after qualifying for the profession and about 1845, he came to Boone county, casting in his lot with its pioneer settlers. He had previously arrived in the state in the 30’s. He was one of the first to engage in the practice of medicine n Boone county. While living in Benton county there occurred the birth of his son John. This was at a period long before the admission of the state to the union or even before the organization of the territory of Iowa, which was then a part of the territory of Wisconsin. After coming to Boone county Dr Fitch resided near Ridgeport from 1845 until 1872 and his practice extended over Webster and Boone counties. He had diplomas form three medical colleges, one homeopathic and two regular schools. Moreover, he was a widely read an on general topics as well as upon question of professional interests. He followed his profession at a time when to do so required much personal self sacrifice, as the pioneer physician was forced to take long rides through summer sun and winter cold over roads which were frequently almost impassable because of the heavy rains in spring and the deep snow in the winter. On leaving this county in 1872 he went to Springfield, South Dakota, where he engaged in farming and remained until 1876 but he suffered heavy losses there, owing to the grasshopper plague, whereby his crops were destroyed. The family including the wife and six children, the eldest then ten years of age, drove back to Boonesboro, while Dr Fitch went to California, hoping to retrieve his lost possessions in that state. He died in Sacramento three years later in 1879. His widow remained a resident of Boonesboro until he demise, which occurred August 16, 1910, when she was seventy-five years of age. She was Dr Fitch’s second wife. He was first married in the east and had two sons and tow daughters by that union. John, now seventy-six years of age and a resident of Wichita, Kansas was for many years a teacher and later became a farmer. Ed now more than seventy years of age, is living upon the ld homestead near Springfield, South Dakota. Julia resides at Paso Robles or Hot Springs, California. Mrs Harriet Buck is a resident of San Jose, California.
It was on November 22, 1849, in Benton county, Dr Fitch wedded Miss Mary E Epperson, who was born in Montgomery county, Indiana, may 19, 1835. They became the parents of thirteen children, of whom one died in infancy, and the twelve who reached adult age six are still living: Mrs Luella L Ells of Platte, South Dakota, James F a farmer residing in South Dakota, W W a contractor living in Des Moines, Albert W a resident farmer of Nebraska Allie who follows farming in Boone county, Iowa, and Fred W.
The last named with the eleventh in order of birth in the family .From eight years of age he has largely been dependent upon his own resources, and at the age of fifteen he took upon himself the responsibility of providing for his mother’s support, which he did for many years. During the first five years after he started out he worked for his board and clothing and later was paid a wage of eleven dollars per moth. During the winter season he would attend the public schools and the summer months worked at farm labor until nineteen years of age. He then learned the barber’s trade in Boone and followed it until thirty years of age, during which period he carefully save his earnings until he had a sum sufficient to enable him to embark in business in his own account on a same scale.
He began the manufacture of toilet articles and preparations and is now widely known for the variety as well as of the excellence of the products which he manufactures. Among these are the Fitch Ideal Dandruff Remover and the Fitch Ideal Shampoo Soap. The Fitch Ideal Shampoo Soap and tonique superbe, a hair dressing were both awarded the gold medal and grand prize at the Paris Exposition in 1911, and at the London Exposition in 1913 He is known also for his various facial creas, including vanishing creams, Ideal Cold Cream, Toilet Finishing Cream and other. He manufactures various kinds of toilet waters, “each a gem of the perfumer’s art,” and among his important and popular products are his perfumes which include fifteen different varieties known as Apple Blossom, Aviation, Debut, Florella, Golden Girl, Irillis, Lilac Royal, Love’s Joy, may Bouquet, Meadow Pink, Princess Grand, Rainbow, Rose Adore, Valley Lily and Violet. Recently he has put some new articles upon the market, including Cocoa Butter cream, rouge and face powder. In 1900, Mr Fitch began to sell his products to the wholesale trade, and the business has grown with gratifying rapidity, During the past five years he as occupied his present building, which is forty-five by one hundred feet three stories in height and basement. There are about thirty people employed in the factory, together with fifteen traveling representatives, who cove the United States thoroughly in the interests of the trade and also selling other parts the world. The company manufactures thirty articles under its own name basis manufacturing such goods as creams, perfumes and toilet waters, etc., for other first, labeled with their respective names. During the past fourteen years he has devoted his entire attention to the development and up building of this business His first trip as a salesman was made in the fall of 1900 and thus he took the initial step in the spread and growth of the business which has now assumed extensive proportions. He has practically borrowed no capital, has always discounted his bills by making payment before due and has carried his interest on along progressive lines, making his one of the important industries of the city. His sales now amount to about two hundred thousand dollars per year. The sale of the dandruff cure exceeds more that twice all other preparations for the barber trade In addition to his manufacturing to the Monarch Manufacturing Company and the Boone Brick, Tile & Paving Company. He is also connected with the Peace River Land and Development Company, owner of land in Florida and elsewhere.
Mr Fitch was married in Boone to Miss Lettie Williams, who has resided in this city for the past quarter of a century or more. They have four children: Gail, sixteen years of age, attending the high school and Mildred Lois and Lucius, all in school. Politically Mr Fitch is a republican, and socially he is connected with the Masonic fraternity and Benevolent Protective Order of Elks, while both he and his wife are members of the Eastern Star. They are likewise members of the Methodist Episcopal church and are interested many of those plans and projects with which feature most largely in the up building and progress of the city. Mr Fitch is a man of intense business energy as evidence in the fact that he has developed his present business to its extensive proportions in the last fourteen years. What he undertakes he accomplishes and as the years go by he is becoming more and more strongly felt as a potent factor in the progress and prosperity of Boone.

1914 Boone County History Book


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